On This Date: Ex-College Hoopers Make Their Mark on October 7 MLB Games

Extra! Extra! Read all about memorable major league baseball achievements and moments involving former college basketball players! Baseball is portrayed as a thinking man's game but only 4% of active MLB players earned college diplomas. Nonetheless, numerous ex-college hoopers had front-row seats to many of the most notable games, transactions and dates in MLB history.

Two former hoopers from West Virginia small colleges - Greasy Neale (West Virginia Wesleyan) and Joe Niekro (West Liberty) - supplied significant postseason competition performances for N.L. teams on this date. Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is an October 7 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:


  • Joe Adcock (LSU's leading basketball scorer in 1945-46) never had an extra-base hit in 28 World Series at-bats, but the Milwaukee Braves 1B drove in the only run of Game 5 in 1957 with a single off New York Yankees Hall of Fame P Whitey Ford.

  • New York Giants 3B Frankie Frisch (Fordham hoops captain) reached base five times with two hits and three walks against the New York Yankees in Game 3 of the 1921 World Series.

  • Detroit Tigers LF Hank Greenberg (enrolled at NYU on hoops scholarship in 1929 but attended college only one semester) collected three doubles in an 8-4 win against the Chicago Cubs in Game 5 of the 1945 World Series.

  • In 2001, Hall of Fame OF Tony Gwynn (All-WAC second-team selection with San Diego State in 1979-80 and 1980-81) played final game of his 20-year career for the San Diego Padres. Seventeen years earlier, Gwynn's two-run double put the Padres ahead to stay in a 6-3 triumph against the Chicago Cubs in Game 5 of the 1984 NLCS.

  • In Game 7, Brooklyn Dodgers 1B Gil Hodges (hooper for St. Joseph's IN in 1943 and Oakland City IN in 1947 and 1948) went hitless again against the New York Yankees and finished 0-for-21 in the 1952 World Series.

  • 1B-OF Doug Howard (All-WAC second-team selection with Brigham Young in 1968-69 and 1969-70) shipped by the California Angels to the St. Louis Cardinals to complete an earlier deal in 1974.

  • New York Yankees RF Charlie Keller (three-year hoops letterman with Maryland from 1934-35 through 1936-37) clobbered two homers in a 7-3 win at Cincinnati in Game 3 of the 1939 World Series.

  • Kansas City Royals DH Joe Lahoud (New Haven CT hoops letterman in mid-1960s) scored two runs in a 6-2 victory against the New York Yankees in Game 3 of the 1977 ALCS.

  • Chicago White Sox 3B Vance Law (averaged 6.8 ppg for BYU from 1974-75 through 1976-77) knocked in his lone postseason run (against Baltimore Orioles in Game 3 of 1983 ALCS).

  • Hall of Fame RHP Christy Mathewson (Bucknell hooper at turn of 20th Century) died of tuberculosis in 1925 at the age of 45.

  • Philadelphia Phillies OF Bake McBride (averaged 12.7 ppg and 8.1 rpg in 21 games with Westminster MO in 1968-69 and 1969-70) sent Game 4 into extra innings with a pinch homer before they bowed to the Los Angeles Dodgers, 4-3, in the 1978 NLCS.

  • Cincinnati Reds RF Greasy Neale (hooper graduated in 1915 from West Virginia Wesleyan) went 3-for-4 for the second time in the first six games of the 1919 World Series against the Chicago White Sox.

  • Houston Astros RHP Joe Niekro (averaged 8.9 ppg and 3.8 rpg for West Liberty WV from 1963-64 through 1965-66) hurled eight shutout innings in a 1-0 triumph against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 2 of the 1981 NLDS.

  • Cincinnati Reds 3B Billy Werber (first Duke hoops All-American in 1929-30) hit safely in first six games of 1940 World Series against the Detroit Tigers.

  • RHP Chris Young (All-Ivy League first-team selection for Princeton in 1999-00) fanned nine opposing batters in 6 2/3 innings to notch the San Diego Padres' only victory in the 2006 NLCS (3-1 against St. Louis Cardinals in Game 3).

  • New York Yankees LHP Tom Zachary (Guilford NC hoops letterman in 1916) hurled a complete-game, 7-3 win against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 3 of the 1928 World Series.